Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

11 September 2023 | Mrs K Leppard | Share this article

Did you know that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month..? Did you know the symbol adopted by the campaign is the gold ribbon.? If your answer was no and I changed that today, I am happy.

The aim of the Childhood Cancer Awareness campaign is, to raise awareness of childhood cancers specifically, because they require specialist treatment (sometimes children are treated with an adapted adult protocol) and to get those specialist treatments developed research is needed, which is currently hugely and disproportionately underfunded....this is the largest cause of death in children.

The campaign shines a light on; raising awareness of the signs and symptoms to aid earlier diagnosis; the treatments, which we want to see improved and updated to be kinder; and the lifelong effects on the children and their families.

The gold ribbon is the symbol adopted by childhood cancer awareness, it represents how precious all children are, and shows our support for those yet to be diagnosed, those in treatment, those surviving and those we have lost.

It's a cause close to my heart and the hearts of my family and many friends, because in May 2014 my middle daughter, Florence was diagnosed with a rare liver cancer, she was 2 years old at the time. The disease had metastasised in her lungs and her prognosis was very poor. Over the next 7 months her little body took on huge amounts of chemotherapy and then she had massive surgery.

We spent a long time in and out of The Royal Marsden's Childrens centre in Sutton for chemotherapy, Kings College Hospital in London for specialist liver treatment and surgery and The Royal Alex in Brighton as our local shared care centre. All of these places became very familiar, even a bit like home.

Florence is now 7 years cancer and drug free (woohoo!) and we are beyond grateful that she is alive and well. We experienced first hand the brilliance of our NHS and some amazingly talented and dedicated healthcare and medical professionals who became like family. Nearly 10 years on we keep in touch with some of them, it is great to be able to let them know she is thriving and to express our ongoing gratitude. Florence is nearly 12 and has just started Year 7, she is a proper miracle and is now seen twice a year at The Alex and Kings for checks on her liver of course and her kidneys and heart, which can be damaged by chemotherapy. We are the lucky ones.

Here is a list of charities we have had personal experience of and have also raised money for, they all support the gold ribbon campaign too. So maybe, if you are looking for a challenge to conquer to raise money....that marathon or parachute jump... give them a look...

There are smaller charities and campaigns locally:

So, there is your whistle stop tour of all that is Childhood Cancer Awareness month and the gold ribbon campaign

Thank you for reading, any supporting is greatly appreciated

Go Gold

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